Escambia positivity rate higher than state or top counties

According the Florida Department of Health, Escambia County had 1,246 new COVID cases last week – only 136 were non-Florida residents.

The county also had 16 more COVID deaths. The month-to-date death toll is 53, which matches the July death total. Only 19 of the December deaths are tied to nursing homes.

What is alarming is the positivity rate remains high. For the week ending Dec. 26, Escambia’s rate was 12.6%. The state rate is only 8.4% for the same period. Escambia County’s positivity rate for last week is much higher than the five most infected counties in Florida:

Dade: 7.94%
Broward: 6.45%
Palm Beach: 6.83%
Hillsborough: 9.68%
Orange: 7.72%

Hospitalizations have climbed to 172. On Nov. 30, we only had 108.

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1 thought on “Escambia positivity rate higher than state or top counties

  1. Meanwhile, the City of Pensacola “does not” enforce its mask ordinance. Last week, I learned of another person I know who died of COVID-19. Instead, we read in today’s PNJ that a bigger priority of the PPD is to crack down on loud mufflers on Palafox Street.

    My wife and I were even in Apple Market on Wednesday where you might think the store would have very tight enforcement on customers, vendors and employees because the place is so small. We shop there because the butcher shop is the best in Pensacola. During about an hour in the store, I counted ten people not wearing masks. Half were customers, two were vendors stocking their goods, two employees had masks on but were wearing them under their chin and one employee was not wearing a mask at all.

    As for the claim that the mask ordinance has been preempted, the Governor has only sought to preempt a very specific provision in the many mask ordinances adopted in the state. Whether the state’s Emergency Management law, 43-pages long, gives the Governor the power to prohibit measures implemented to reduce the number of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths does not seem supported by any of the 15 specific powers the Florida Legislature has given the Governor during an emergency. What I have found to include in the state’s public health laws seems to suggest that the city is on rock solid ground and a court might rule against the Governor if the city challenged his action.

    Certain state departments have enacted mandatory mask requirements for specific types of businesses that local governments are directed to enforce but in Pensacola do not.

    Further, the Governor’s own “Plan for Florida’s Recover” posted to the state’s website lays out in plain language what local governments can do but in Pensacola will not:

    “Local governments may adopt requirements directly on businesses, operations, or venues, including buildings, beaches and parks, that may be stricter that the state. Report a business that violates these orders to local law enforcement.”

    “Face masks are recommended and local governments are still able to maintain or pass local mask ordinances. Executive Order 20-244 suspends all outstanding fines and penalties that have been applied against individuals. See CDC guidance on face masks for customers, employees and employers.”

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